Monday, March 7, 2011

Millions expected at Rosenmontag parades in Rhineland

The Rhineland’s Rosenmontag parades kicked off on Monday, marking the pinnacle of the region’s Karneval celebrations with boozy processions featuring off-colour floats lampooning the year’s big news events.

Some two million costumed revellers were expected in the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, Mainz and beyond for the Shrove Monday parades, with plenty of sunshine in the forecast.

Festivities were set to begin around 10:30 am in the festival’s main city Cologne, where the parade will be some 6.5 kilometres long this year.

Karneval organizers in Mainz, which hosts the country’s second largest parade, said they expected half a million partygoers.

Popular satirical float themes are expected to be the plagiarism scandal surrounding former Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, German resistance to Google’s navigation program Street View, and the protests against the massive rail project Stuttgart 21.

The German Karneval season kicks off November 11 and culminates this week with the observance of Ash Wednesday in the predominantly Roman Catholic Rhineland region.


Source photo: DPA /

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